R3’s Mission: Enabling an Open, Trusted and Enduring Digital Economy

Embracing a New Era of Digital Finance  

The world of finance is rapidly evolving, and we find ourselves in the midst of a new era for digital finance that is full of opportunities, and risks.  At R3, our mission is to enable an open, trusted, and enduring digital economy. We’re helping usher forth a world where value – digital currencies and digital assets – can move freely whilst ensuring business is done safely and privately. We further this through our platform Corda, the leading enterprise distributed ledger technology (DLT), and through our products and services that enable the secure exchange of value in regulated industries. We are striving to build a connected ‘network of regulated networks’, underpinned by lasting and trusted technology.  

The Beginnings of R3 and Corda   

To understand where we are today, it is helpful to take a step back to look at where R3 started.   

The company’s journey began with a clear goal of transforming and future-proofing financial markets from within. This is exactly why and how R3 began as a consortium of banks, listening to the financial industry’s needs, and then building the technology to meet them. Since then, it is no surprise that those underpinning the very foundations of finance – from financial market infrastructure providers to central banks and commercial banks – have been the earliest adopters of Corda and are using it to modernize business processes and power the exchange of value and settlement of digital assets and currencies.  We are honored those trusted partners, such as Euroclear, DTCC, SDX, and the Central Bank of UAE, and investors, such as Bank of America, HSBC, and Wells Fargo, have joined R3’s journey in strengthening the backbone of a new digital economy.  

Trust and Collaboration  

Trust has always been a critical factor in financial transactions, and R3 recognizes this fundamental requirement. Corda, the permissioned distributed technology platform developed by R3, addresses the age-old problem of trust between parties without compromising proprietary data.    

This has informed our strong belief in open innovation and industry collaboration. The long-term vision of the enterprise blockchain world was never intended to be dominated by a small number of market players, where participants select themselves into new silos or isolated walled gardens. We believe the future is an open and connected ecosystem, based on multiple blockchains and DLT networks. And that users need not be presented with false choices of ‘public’ vs ‘private’ networks. Instead, the focus should be on how to connect regulated networks together, to give users the widest and safest reach for themselves and their businesses.    

Open collaboration across the distributed ecosystem is key for us all to actively reimagine industry standards, which will inevitably help shape the way we issue, manage, and move digital assets and currencies. R3 has always recognized how collaboration plays just as an important a role as the need to innovate.   

Next-Gen Corda – Enabling Interoperability, High Availability, and Scalability  

The launch of the next generation of Corda demonstrates R3’s commitment to creating a connected distributed ecosystem of a more open ‘network of regulated networks’.   

Corda’s design allows industrial-strength applications built on permissioned networks to seamlessly interact with separately regulated networks, be it existing centralized systems, Enterprise Ethereum apps, or other blockchain technologies. With a focus on interoperability, availability, and scalability, Next-Gen Corda has undergone extensive development and fine-tuning to meet the requirements of complex and highly regulated markets. It provides a trusted platform for safely and securely trading digital assets and currencies across borders, entities and blockchain platforms. Corda is architected to be future-proofed and fit for purpose for institutions operating at scale in regulated market, and it’s open in its core. It is delivered as a single production-grade open-source codebase that’s also modular and application network centric.  

At R3, our north star is to move financial markets forward by enabling minimal friction and delivering maximum safety and we believe the next generation of Corda meets the mark. You can find out more about Next-Gen Corda here.

Harmonia, a Hyperledger Lab – Furthering Our Commitment to Interoperability  

We have combined our DNA of industry collaboration with our commitment to interoperability via Hyperledger Foundation Lab Harmonia, a partnership between R3 and Adhara to promote interoperability among regulated blockchain networks.  

Harmonia is a set of principles, requirements, designs, and code samples to help regulated blockchain networks interoperate. It’s not another interoperability framework or standard – it has been set up to kickstart a new way for the industry to think about regulated and financial networks by focusing on business use cases. The model we are starting with is atomic swaps, where two digital assets can be exchanged simultaneously on separate networks and ledgers. The assets never leave their respective networks, and the swap is ‘atomic’ or instant. Both one-way transactions either successfully settle or fail. This delivery versus payment (DvP) flow unlocks the use case of repurchase agreements, known as repo, which on its own provides more than $3 trillion in funding every day. Other forms of interoperability, such as bridging between networks, will follow. You can discover more about Harmonia, and our continued commitment to open interoperability, here.  

On the Path to a Network of Regulated Networks  

In future posts we will lay out how these foundations are powering the issuance of CBDCs, the tokenization of regulated assets, and the unlocking of high value use cases of securities settlement, collateral management, and many more.   

With R3’s commitment to collaboration and innovation, and the help of our unmatched ecosystem, we can confidently work together to build a financial landscape that is open, trusted, enduring, and truly primed for success in the digital age.  

  • Todd McDonald

    Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer